Joseph Interior Design

Trend - Cork

Cork isn't new, far from it in fact. Cork has a distinctly retro reputation. Growing up, I remember a wall of cork tiles in our bathroom, along with a yellow floral carpet, a brown corner sofa and one of those domed pendant lights that you could raise and lower on a spiral cord - very retro. But cork has had something of a revival of late and with good reason.

As a material it has an extensive list of benefits; it’s lightweight, moisture resistant, a thermal and acoustic insulator, it’s naturally fire retardant and anti-allergenic but most importantly, it’s sustainable. When cork is harvested it is stripped from the trunk of the tree. The tree does not need to be cut down and the bark then grows back. Also, when the bark is removed the tree actually absorbs more Carbon Dioxide. Given the critical nature of our environmental situation, anything with green credentials is a winner in our opinion.

Another big benefit of cork is the price with wall tiles starting from around £18 per sqm and flooring from around £30 per sqm. It’s also very easy to fit yourself so there is the potential to save on installation costs. A wall clad entirely with pin cork looks great, is really functional and very easy to do yourself if you like a project. Wall cork comes in panels or on the roll and can be easily cut to size with a craft knife. Some panels even come with a self-adhesive backing. Accessories are always another easy, low cost way to introduce materials and there are lots of gorgeous cork products popping up on the high street. Ikea has just introduced a cork veneer to its Pax wardrobe range.

Image by Petra Bindel from Coco Lapine Design

Image by Petra Bindel from Coco Lapine Design

Choice isn't limited either. There is a huge range of cork flooring and wall cladding out there with different grain sizes, textures, colours and even cork that looks like metal and stone. We recently discovered the Organic Blocks collection by Muratto featuring three dimensional wall tiles created using new technology to mould very fine granulated cork into sculptural forms. The end product is super slick and looks equally stunning in both its natural colour or one of the fabulous colours in the range.

Swiss architects Dost recently used cork to stunning effect in its interior for the Heart Treatment Clinic in Zurich. The result is clean and fresh but has warmth and character and proves that cork can now officially consider itself contemporary.

Interior of the Heart Treatment Clinic in Zurich by Dost Architects.

Interior of the Heart Treatment Clinic in Zurich by Dost Architects.

Hexagon cork wall tiles from the Organic Blocks collection by Murrato.

Hexagon cork wall tiles from the Organic Blocks collection by Murrato.

Stone effect cork flooring by Wicanders

Stone effect cork flooring by Wicanders

White Bark cork flooring by wallsandfloors.co.uk

White Bark cork flooring by wallsandfloors.co.uk

Kirkenes cork veneer sliding wardrobe doors by Ikea

Kirkenes cork veneer sliding wardrobe doors by Ikea

Saxborga jars with cork lids and tray by Ikea £12.

Saxborga jars with cork lids and tray by Ikea £12.

Material Pendant Light in neutral cork by New Works £122.66

Material Pendant Light in neutral cork by New Works £122.66

Wall lights

When it comes to Interior Design, one of the key areas that always completes a room or changes the way a room may feel, is the lighting. It is so important to consider this early on in the design process as it can be difficult and costly to change at a later date.

We work on a number of properties that may have restrictions to what we are able to alter with regards to the ceiling lighting, therefore we look to other forms of lighting, in this case, wall lights to create dramatic alcoves, highlight artwork, add some interest to the walls or fulfil our ambient lighting requirements.

Wall lights do not have to be the simple semi circular up-lighters painted out with the wall colour or just kept plaster white, which we have seen so many times before. There are lots of interesting alternatives on the market which give us the opportunity to be a little more considered and creative.

Here are a few of our favourites to tempt you to look at something different for your walls.


Inspiration - Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is upon us and here in the office we are feeling the love. With every shop window boasting red roses, pink hearts and the like we felt it only fitting to embrace the theme.

Pink has certainly been on the scene in the world of interiors and fashion for several years now since Pantone announced Rose Quartz as it’s colour of the year back in 2016 shortly followed by the arrival of Millenial pink. Despite it’s popularity on social media, some still avoid it in the home or limit its use to girl’s bedrooms or the nursery. However, pink can look very sophisticated when paired navy blue and a pop of mustard. It’s a great accent colour against a monochromatic scheme of soft greys, which lends itself particularly well to the Scandi trend. For perfect contrast offset it with sage green. Often it is believed that pink and red are a clash but in fact a poppy red with pale pink can look stunning too.

If we’ve convinced you to give pink a go but you don’t feel brave enough dive straight in with wall-to-wall colour or a large piece of furniture try introducing a few blush accessories for an instant update. Fortunately, the high street offers a lot to choose from at the moment. Here are a few of our favourite pink picks…